Creating the Educational Environment to Support the Transformation of Integrative Medicine Learning

Duncan Still, Elizabeth A Thompson, A Gray, P Turton
NCIM, National Centre for Integrative Medicine, UK

Background:  The biomedical model is no longer satisfying the public’s need to create health and wellbeing or to live well with long term health conditions. In America/Europe, where healthcare choices can be supported through private insurance, an Integrative Medicine (IM) model is becoming increasingly popular with the public and physicians. However, while departments of IM have existed for some time in the UK, none have offered a higher qualification in IM. Previous attempts at establishing IM programmes have been met with resistance and opposition and ultimately not thrived.

Methods: We describe the development and implementation of a new Diploma in IM to give registered healthcare professionals the knowledge and experience they need to create individualsied and comprehensive whole-person care and create a necessary sea-change in healthcare provison.

Results: In the face of numerous challenges we have developed a 1200-hour, 120-credit, regulated, two-year qualification in IM. The course is a blended model of learning that relies on an online learning platform with expert multimedia content, f-2-f student engagement through tutorials, webinars, and regular face-to-face Intensive weekends.

Conclusion: UK and European healthcare professionals have signed up for the course in increasing numbers suggesting a growing awareness of/desire to train in IM and to transform existing models of healthcare provision. Feedback from students has been extremely positive although some have struggled to keep pace the with the amount of educational content combined with their working schedules. The students are fast becoming pioneers in the field of IM and supporting a transformation to comprehensive whole-person care.